A court in Kolkata has denied bail to former West Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee, who has been in custody since July 2021 in connection with a school jobs scam. The court stated that Chatterjee is a powerful individual who could obstruct the ongoing investigation into the alleged money trail.
Chatterjee’s lawyer argued that the evidence against him was based on seized documents and electronic devices, which cannot be tampered with if he is released on bail. However, the ED counsel opposed bail, using the example of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, a 19th century reformer known for promoting education in Bengal, to draw a contrast with Chatterjee’s alleged role in undermining it. The ED counsel accused Chatterjee of participating in a criminal conspiracy to illegally give jobs in the Education Department and claimed that this was a financial fraud case that falls under the purview of the ED’s investigation.